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How Confidence Can Be Worked From The Outside In

How Confidence Can Be Worked From The Outside In

We have all been scared to death for our job interviews, anxious to meet someone, or afraid to be in a new environment. You may say you have seen people who seem so confident when they walk in the room, but the truth is that even the most confident person on earth has struggles in these situations.

What sets this bunch apart from the crowd is that they know the key to being confident. So, how do we boost and build up our confidence? Fake it ’til you make it.

The key to confidence is to be able to act like you are confident even when you are not. How you present yourself is crucial.

The way you dress affects your psychological state.

How you dress is a basic rule that we follow when we go to different occasions. Others usually gravitate towards the person who “dresses the part”, and contribute positive attributes to that person. For example, a person who wears glasses[1] and dress up formally is perceived as smarter than one who dresses very casually in an interview. At the same time, what we wear affects how we see ourselves.

Researchers have coined the term “enclothed cognition”,[2] meaning that what you wear affects your physical and psychological state. The clothes you put on can either make or break your self-confidence level.

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The researchers conducted a test on the effects of wearing a lab coat.

A pretest found that a lab coat is generally associated with attentiveness and carefulness. We therefore predicted that wearing a lab coat would increase performance on attention-related tasks.

Because of the symbolic meaning and physical experience of wearing the lab clothe, physically wearing a lab coat increased selective attention compared to not wearing a lab coat. Wearing a lab coat, which is also called a doctor’s coat, increased sustained attention compared to wearing a lab coat described as a painter’s coat.

Your posture very much represents your mental status.

How do you sit? What posture are you in right now? When a model walks down the runway, if they walk with a straight spine, they will be more confident comparing to those who slouch. Your posture is very important to show that you have confidence.

A study shows that having good posture affects a person’s testosterone and cortisol.[3] Testosterone is the dominance hormone, and cortisol is the stress hormone. A person with a powerful posture has an increased testosterone level, and a decreased cortisol level, meaning high self-confidence and low stress.

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On the other hand, a person who slouches or has a bad posture is more likely to have a decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol.

Next time you are waiting for an interview, don’t hunch and crunch up your shoulders. Go to the bathroom and stretch out, the very small acts will probably make a great difference.

The way you act changes how others see you and also how you see yourself.

In relation to posture, a person’s body language also has a major impact on self-confidence. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has previously done a study on body language and confidence.[4] She concluded that people who take a wider, more spread out movement tend to be more confident.

Strong body language and taking up more space contribute to a more dominant and confident image. At the same time, because of displaying powerful poses, one’s stress level is reduced, which in turn boosts a person’s confidence.

Start with small changes for great confidence.

It’s simple, the principle of letting others believe that you are confident is to dress, look, and act the part to build self-confidence.

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Stand up straight but relaxed

  1. Stand with your feet as wide as your hips
  2. Pull up your head to make yourself as tall as possible
  3. Then relax your shoulders and your neck

Sit up straight but not rigid

When you sit up straight, you will feel quite tall when sitting at a table. Keep your back straight, but relax as much as possible.

Position your feet at about hip width apart

Putting your feet closer together generally signifies insecurity, and a wider stance indicates confidence.

Smile like you are happy to be there

Smile like you really like what you are seeing. A single smile is so powerful that it can often turn a low self-esteem and negative person positive.[5]

Don’t lean on or against objects

Leaning on or against an object signifies passivity and insecurity. Try to remain a good posture all the times.

Dress up with what makes you comfortable in different occasions

Consider your body shape and style, find something that makes you confident and comfortable. You can check out the essential tips to dress with confidence: 6 Essential Ways To Start Dressing With Confidence

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Make sure your body language is strong when you speak next time.

It will make you feel more confident and comfortable to speak your mind!

You might still wonder if you are naturally unsure or insecure, it might be a treacherous journey to boost your self-confidence. But don’t worry and just take your time. Don’t be afraid to invest more time and effort in fashion, don’t hesitate to pull your shoulders back, and don’t wait to take a powerful body position. Start small, finish big.

Featured photo credit: Ron Sachs—Picture Alliance/DPA/AP via timedotcom.files.wordpress.com

Reference

More by this author

Frank Yung

Writer. Storyteller. Foodie.

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Last Updated on December 13, 2019

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just Pick One Thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan Ahead

To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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3. Anticipate Problems

There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a Start Date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for It

On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

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  • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
  • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
  • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
  • I meditate daily.

6. Accept Failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan Rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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